Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chicken, Basil, Walnut, and Greek Yogurt Salad

I'm always looking for something new to use Greek yogurt in, especially since I got to try Fage Greek yogurt free by being a Bzz Agent.

Here's my recipe for a yummy chicken salad that can be eaten on its own or would be awesome on a cracker or even toast.

4 ounces chicken breast (4 points plus)
14 grams walnuts (it's 1/2 of a serving of walnuts) (3 points plus)
several basil leaves (0 points plus)
5 TBSP Green nonfat yogurt (1 points plus)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pulse the chicken breast in a food processor until desired consistency is reached. I do it until it's almost like a crushed nuts consistency.
2. Add basil and walnuts. Pulse until desired consistency.

3. Add five TBSP Greek nonfat yogurt.
4. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. 

I added a little ground sea salt and pepper and served with basil leaves. It was creamy and healthy and only eight Weight Watchers Points Plus...a perfectly healthy lunch!


Our SFG (Square Foot Garden)

We've tried a garden before, but with limited results. You see, we have red clay for soil. A backyard garden and red clay go together like oil and water...they don't mesh too well. After our summer of the bummer garden I thought we'd never be able to really garden here. Then I saw this image pinned on Pinterest and was intrigued by something I'd never heard of before, "Square Foot Gardening."

I checked out the book 

and read it.

It was too simple to not try!

First, Ryan and I used the wood we had to make a 2' x 10' frame. We had planned on following the directions in the book exactly and build a 4' x 4' frame, but for the space we had in mind, we just decided it was best to use what we had (and we didn't even have to cut it because it was wood left over some other project of ours!). 

Second, we placed the frame in a spot that gets a lot of sun throughout the day.

Third, we placed cardboard on the ground inside the frame to control weeds. It's OK to do that because you only need 6" of  Mel's Mix soil to grow plants in. Also, the cardboard will degrade eventually.

Fourth, we filled the frame with "Mel's Mix" of 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost. We bought this all at Lowe's. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I wanted this garden to actually produce something, so I decided to not let money (or lack thereof) decide the fate of this project)

Fifth, Ryan and I measured out 20 square feet with twine and nailed it in to the frame to create the square foot grid that is essential to this SFG.

Sixth, we planted the plants/seeds. We chose what we did because that is what we'll actually eat. 

Seventh, we added the DIY irrigation. They're just plastic water bottles with a pin prick towards the bottom that water the roots of the plants.

That's it! That's our SFG. We are anxious about the veggies we will be getting out of this attempt at gardening. 

A few things I like about this method are:
-no need for fertilizer
-no need for insecticides
-no need to dig up and use your existing soil
-easy enough for someone without a green thumb to do
-small enough to give the satifaction of a garden, but large enough to have enough produce to make the attempt worthwhile.

Do you have a garden? What do you love about it?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Clementine Banana Bliss

So....yeah, it's been a long time since I've been here. I'm back now though!

I've been doing Weight Watcher since the beginning of the year and am really working on eating more healthy foods. Most fruits and veggies on WW are 0 PointsPlus. I love the PointsPlus program because it helps you make wise food choices, like eating more fruits and veggies to keep you from being hungry. Since fruits are "free", I've been playing around with different combos and ways to eat them.

This combo is the bomb! I had a whole box of clementines that I wanted to make sure got eaten before they went bad. I can only eat so many of them before I get tired of them. My mind wandered off to an Orange Julius. Not wanting to use anything but fruit, I came up with this "recipe".

Peel three clementines.

Separate them into sections and place them on a plate. Place in the freezer and freeze.

When they're frozen solid, you can put them in a plastic baggie so it will take up less space in your freezer. 

Place the sections into a food processor. Blend until you get a powdery substance like this.

Add 1/2 C. cold water and continue to blend. You'll have kind of an Icee texture now.

Add in one banana and continue to blend. Now, you will have a smoothie texture.  

It's amazing how good and refreshing this is! I hope you enjoy it like I have been!


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